Friday, July 31, 2009

A Prayer for Boys

My prayer for my boys today:

I thank my God every time I remember you, even when you're driving me crazy.
In all my prayers for all of you, I always pray with joy (Lord help me) because of your partnership with the gospel from the first day until now. Your partnership with the gospel currently results from your connection to your family, but I pray that someday it will become your own.

I am confident of this, that He who began a good work in you will carry it on to completion until the day of Christ Jesus. He will carry on the good work in you, not me.
I have you in my heart.
All of you share in God's grace with me. Thank you Lord!
And this is my prayer:
that your love may abound more and more
in knowledge and depth of insight,
so that you may be able to discern what is best and may be
and blameless for the day of Christ,
filled with the fruit of righteousness that comes through Jesus Christ-
to the glory and praise of God.

Wednesday, July 29, 2009

On Stage

Our park has an unused loading dock next to the playground that the boys have claimed for a stage. Micah wanted to help be the "camera guy" instead of being in the band this time. Every rocker writes a song for his mom right?

Saturday, July 25, 2009

Bike rides and play today

Elijah playing with John Wesley.
Feet in the fountain on campus.
Life size statue of John Wesley. Can you believe how short he was?
Relaxing by the fountain after our bike ride.

Friday, July 24, 2009

Rx for Mommy-crazies= Solitude

I read a little bit of Richard Foster's chapter on solitude the other day without any huge 'ah ha' moments. Then today, I was a little on edge for my own reasons, and it was my day to be home with the boys. Overall, we had a great day- played outside lots, didn't watch TV or play computer, no fights, no time-outs, but I was just grouchy most of the day. We were in the van on the way home from Lex and I finally had to say, "OK, Mommy will not be answering any more questions until we get home."

The previous 45 minutes had sounded something like:
E: "Mommy, when can I get my motorcycle driver's license."
Me: I don't know. When you're not living at home anymore.
E: But when am I allowed to...
I: (interrupting him) Um, Mommy?!? Where are we going?
E: Hey, Isaiah interrupted me.
Me: Yes, Isaiah, you interrupted. Elijah go ahead and finish.
E: Um, yeah so, I forget, but Mommy?...
Me: Yeah, ...
I: Mommy? Can we go to McDonalds
Me: No we're not going to McDonalds
E: Hey, Isaiah interrupted me again. You guys keep ignoring me.
M: Hey Mommy!
Me: Yes.
M: That was Toys R Us. Can we get a Nintendo DS?
Me: No
M: When can we get a DS? How much does it cost?
E: Mommy? How much money will you and Daddy give me to buy my first car?
Me: What?
I: Can I buy that car right there?
Me: (Silence- ignoring them)
I: (louder) Mommy! That red one right there beside us... look now... you're going to miss it... (crying now!!!) Mommy, you missed it. It was the car I really want!

So yeah, replay that for 45 mintues and I'd had enough. Our day continued much the same- we played on the trampoline, Eric got home, we ate dinner, and he took the boys outside to play for the last 45 mintues of the day. I did dishes and swept the floor... and I felt it- the beauty of solitude. The 45 minutes I spent cleaning the kitchen and sweeping the floor were my best moments all day. I prayed, hummed a tune, had a complete thought or two without interruption, I savored the laughter of children outside, I smelled dish soap, washed fresh garden veggies and marveled at the perfection of a red ripe tomato.

Foster writes, "These tiny snatches of time are often lost to us. What a pity! They can and should be redeemed. They are times for inner quiet, for reorienting our lives like a compass needle. They are little moments that help us to be genuinely present where we are." Capturing little moments of 'silence' helps us to be genuinely present. I can not imagine the crazy person I would be if these pockets of time didn't avail themselves regularly- with the help of Eric of course who knows better than anyone that without a few minutes to myself, you'll get nothing but sarcasm out of me. :)

Monday, July 20, 2009

Knock Knock Joke- Zay Zay

Knock Knock. from Erin Crisp on Vimeo.

Phoebe's Song

Phoebe's Song from Erin Crisp on Vimeo.

Elijah made up this song for Phoebe Saturday. She smiled and laughed and laughed the whole time he was singing to her. There were several more verses during the live performance.

Wednesday, July 15, 2009

School's not cool

We have made a new friend, Paul, from Kenya. He eats with us frequently and shares many stories of his country and home. He has already become such a blessing to our family- enlarging our hearts and opening our eyes to a world beyond our own trivial worries.

Last night he was sharing about school in Kenya. Students have to pay for uniforms, books and school fees to attend school. It is a great privilege to attend school. Children cry if they have to stay home from school for any reason and walk many miles sometimes to get an education.

I shared that overall, the perspective of US school children is disappointingly different. Most don't want to go to school. Teenagers work hard to skip school and many drop out as soon as they are old enough in favor of going their own way.

He was not surprised, just shook his head and said wisely, as he often seems to do, "They do not understand that 'I am because we are, and we are because I am. (from Desmund Tutu I think he said)'" He went on to explain that in Kenya, children know and understand that their entire existence is dependant on the "we" and the fate of the "we" is dependant on the responsibility (or lack thereof) of the individual. So if I am successful in school, I can help my whole family and whole community. If I squander my chances, I may indirectly or directly cause the death of my family members, friends and community because I become a burden to them, a mouth to feed that can not contribute as effectively as one who pursues his opportunities- whatever they may be- farming, education, etc.

So, short of exposing our children to the travesites of poverty and death, how do our children learn a sense of "we." How do they come to the important realization that their actions, even as young adolescents, will have far reaching effects for their children, their husbands and wives and even their grandchildren? From teaching this age for a few years, I would assert that they have little to NO understanding of cause and effect that transcends their own lives. Psychologists say this is a normal phase of their development- that adolescents are trapped in a "me" world that is healthy and normal until they move onto the next phase of their development. But is that entirely true? It may help us understand them but should we let them languish there? What can we do to broaden their perspectives? And in so doing broaden our own as adults.

I am because we are, and we are because I am.

Tuesday, July 14, 2009

Saturday, July 11, 2009

Being a Teacher

"This is the fundamental message of the teacher:
You can change your life. Wherever you’ve been, whatever you’ve done, the teacher invites you to build on all that you are, and to begin again. There is always something more to do, more to learn and know, more to experience and accomplish. You must change your life, and if you will, you can change your world.

This sense of opportunity and renewal—for individuals, for whole communities and societies—is at the heart of all teaching; it constitutes the ineffable magic drawing us back to the classroom and into the school again and again. Education, no matter where or when it takes place, enables people to become more powerfully and self-consciously alive; it embraces as principle and overarching purpose the aspiration of people to become more fully human; it impels us toward further knowledge, enlightenment, and human community, toward liberation. Education, at its best, is an enterprise that helps human beings reach the full measure of their humanity."

-William Ayers

So how and when is education at its best? And is reaching the full measure of our humanity really the ultimate goal?

Wednesday, July 08, 2009


Community supported agriculture. We are enjoying farm fresh produce, organically grown, every week this growing season (20 weeks in KY). At the commencement of the season, we agree to purchase a share in the farm's crops, whether it be a good year or bad year for produce, we pay for our share. Together with 8 other Wilmore families, we take turns traveling to the farmer's market each week to pick up everyone's boxes of produce. We meet at one location in Wilmore to pick up our boxes and give empty boxes to the pick up person for the following week. It all works very nicely, and the best part is eating the fresh produce every week.
A few things we've all noticed:
1. Fresh vegetables, straight from the farm, taste better. Even Tom and Isaiah think so.
2. We eat more vegetables because we know we're getting more in a few days so we have to eat what we have to make room.
3. I get to try recipes using ingredients that I would not normally buy, so we all get to be a bit more adventurous. Some of our adventures? Kohlrabi, kale, rainbow carrots and beets (not pickled).
4. It feels good to help a local farm, knowing that our money is being used in wise ways and not being used to put a small local farm somewhere out of business.
5. Two families share our box each week and I've still had enough left over to freeze 3 small bags of kale and give away a gallon size bag of lettuce greens.
So, I'd highly recommend the experience. I found our CSA in a Green Living newsletter at our local library. Do some looking and you might find one in your neighborhood.

Tuesday, July 07, 2009

Sick Mamma and New Car

I haven't felt great for a few days now and it all came to a fevered pitch last night. Hives, chills, fever, then sweating, achy all over, not my preferred reason for being awake at 3am. So, I stayed home from work today and listened to Eric wrangle the boys all day. I took a nap or two, watched lots of TLC and Michael Jackson memorial coverage. Now, I'm feeling much better and think I'll try to return to life tomorrow. I've been fever free with no drugs for a few hours now, so I think everyone is safe.
In other news, a few weeks ago we bought the car in the above photo. Since my new teaching job will require a bit of a commute, we knew we'd need something for me to drive back and forth every day so Eric could keep the van for boy use. Lots of research later, we bought a used (08) Nissan Versa. Welcome to the family little car. :)

Monday, July 06, 2009

Jumping in the Rain

After a whole day of inside play, the last hour of the day before bed last night they couldn't stand it any longer. First they rode bikes in the rain, then they ended up on the trampoline in the rain, slipping and sliding instead of jumping. Isaiah was completely giddy. He kept yelling, "Mommy! We're jumping in the rain!"

Sunday, July 05, 2009

Waiting for the Parade

Wow has waiting become a lot easier for these active guys. We played 20 questions with animals, taking turns picking an animal for half an hour before the parade started.

Micah Sings and the 4th

Micah has recently rediscovered the CD player and kids praise and worship CDs. Yesterday and today he has been singing at the top of his voice along with the CD player. We love it! Ironic that we own 3 MP3 players and for one reason or another none of them works right now, but the old portable CD player of mine from high school is still going strong.

The Wilmore 4th of July parade was perfectly Wilmoresque as always. It will probably be our last Wilmore 4th. A little sad. The weather this week has been perfect- cool enough to leave the windows open, air conditioning off and to play outside for hours. I have 4th pictures that I'll post soon.

One of the things I love about Wilmore- after the parade, the whole town gathers into the sides of the streets and sidewalks, following the few cars at the tail of the parade and walking to the campground at the center of town. It's like something straight out of Mayberry where we wave to friends, saunter along beside cars, tractors and horses to the grounds where they sell hotdogs and drinks for a dollar or something like that.

We skipped out on the pavilion hotdogs this year, went home, had friends over and made our own. Good times in our bubble. We'll cherish it for one more year.

Friday, July 03, 2009

The weight of human life

"We can't accept that a plane is banned from Europe but still allowed to fly in Africa. It's the proof that our world isn't fair and that human beings don't weigh the same depending on which side of the Mediterranean they are," said Gilles Poux, mayor of the Paris suburb of La Courneuve, where Comorans gathered for prayers.

A plane crash in the Seychelles islands- Comoros- off the coast of Mozambique (kind of that area) claims many lives- no number yet since a survivor has been found and they're hoping for others. Many of the travelers were French citizens and the plane they boarded in Paris or Marseille was approved and safe. They then switched airplanes in an African country and boarded an airplace that did not have EU approval. This is the plane that crashed into the sea while landing and although officials say it was not due to mechanics, apparently the above mayor in Paris doesn't think this is true.

The values placed on human life reach far beyond race and ethnicity issues of North America. On virtually every corner of our planet we'll find the existance of unfair practices involving particular people groups. Obviously this is not the way we were intended to live with each other. Obviously God values each of these lives equally. We are all his children and He desires good things for all of us. It is difficult to even imagine a world where all lives weigh the same in the eyes of man. Just one more reason to anicipate the Kingdom that is "not yet."

Thursday, July 02, 2009

Elijah was playing with Shawn- a very nice neighbor boy, about 9- on the trampoline today. I overheard their conversation. I'm not sure how it started, but here's where I picked up.
Elijah: Forest fires are weather.
Shawn: Forest fires are not weather. Rain, wind, snow, things that come from the sky are weather. Fires come from people.
Elijah: It can come from lightening and lightening comes from the sky.
Shawn: But that doesn't make it weather. Weather is different than a forest fire.
Elijah: If a forest fire comes from lightening and then the wind blows it and makes it spread, then it has to be weather. It didn't come from anywhere else. And fire can give new plants room to grow.
Shawn: You don't know.
Elijah: You don't know either. ...pause... Hey, you want to play that wrestling game?
Shawn: Sure.

No question. Elijah loves his science. So anyone know? Do forest fires count as weather? Some how I doubt it, but I thought he had a good argument.

Wednesday, July 01, 2009

First Day for the new ATS pres.

New fiscal year at ATS. New school president started today.
Dr. Tim Tennent and his wife Julie become the 8th family of leadership for Asbury Theological Seminary. We are excited, encouraged and anticipating the future of ATS under Dr. Tennent's leadership. In his sermon this morning, he spoke on the parable of the sower- the one where the man sows his seed all over the place. Some grows, some doesn't for various different reasons. We tend to focus on the soils- which kind of soil am I? etc. We forget that the parable's focus is the sower. God is the sower and he sows extravagantly- almost wastefully from our perspective of efficiency. God's grace and love is extravagant and from our evaluation, probably even wasteful. Dr. Tennent states, "We (ATS) want to be known as a place of extravagant sowing. Thanks be to God, the extravagant sower."
Good Word Dr. Tennent.

Simile Metaphor Collection

Elijah after running: My heart is beating like a coconut rolling down a hill.
Elijah on urination: Pee is like horses galloping out of the gate. Once they get started you just can't stop them.
Elijah: If school were a human I'd give it a wedgie.
Elijah: I am like a hot rod and I just want to be a plain old Ford
Elijah on the fruits of the spirit: I've got them all covered except self-control. Its like a tiny green tomato and the rest are all big ripe ones. Especially love. Its like the biggest tomato we saw in the garden tonight.